Our sizing at Snake River Cichlilds may be a bit different than other sites, and that's because we raise our fish differently! Our fish are fed three times daily and our flow through system pumps over 450 gallons of water per minute (without electricity). This combination of proper feeding and constant water circulation allows us to grow our fish to a good size before sexual maturity. Despite the fish being larger, this doesn't mean they are sexually mature yet, and sexual maturity plays a big role in the coloring of the cichlid. (Females are not purchased for their color, as regardless of age or size are drab. They are purchased for breeding capabilities.)
Here is a guide to give you an idea of what to expect when selecting your fish sizes at Snake River Cichlids:
- 1-2.5'': These young fish are very young, they are too small to be colored or to be accurately gendered.
- 2.5-3 Males'': At this size, we are able to accurately determine gender on the fish, but males may still be drab in color and almost identical to females in some cases.
-3-4'' Males: These fish are just starting sexual maturity. Depending on the species though, males may not be at full coloring yet. Larger species (Haps & some Peacocks) especially won't be fully colored at this size.
-4"+ Males: This size consists of sexually mature fish with males having great color. Some larger species (Haps & some Peacocks) will be colored up but may not have the vibrancy yet of a mature and dominant male.
**Many factors can effect coloring too. Dominance/Confidence of the male is the biggest impact. A newly arrived male may take some time to reach their full color potential, until they are comfortable and confident in their new tank.
**OB Cichlids have a lot of "hybrid vigor". Where most cichlids are bred for consistency in color, OBs differ greatly. The appearance can differ greatly between individuals.